MOLLER TON IN VAIN
A superb century by comeback man Greg Moller could not prevent the XXXX GOLD Bulls from sliding to outright defeat against WA at the Gabba today as the Bupa Sheffield Shield table morphed into a six-State war.
Little more than one outright win now separates the top-ranked Queensland from last-placed WA as competition further intensifies for a Shield final berth.
Moller easily surpassed his previous highest first class score of 78 to make 120 in the Bulls' second innings run chase that never looked like achieving victory.
They still made a healthy 340 but lost by 99 runs.
There was enormous pressure on Moller throughout in his first game in more than three years and he stood tall, making 44 in the first innings as he and Luke Pomersbach produced easily the best opening stand of the season (83).
Then wickets constantly fell around him in the second innings as he resisted for more than four hours to ensure he will be one of the first men picked for the Bulls' next crunch game against Victoria at the MCG in 11 days time.
The Bulls even had a slight hope of victory when Moller and James Hopes added 73 for the sixth wicket to take the home side to 5-238 an hour before tea.
Those prospects were snuffed out when Nathan Coulter-Nile induced an edge from a big drive by Moller with the second new ball to end an innings that soaked up 234 deliveries and saw the former Boonah boy hit 10 boundaries.
Coulter-Nile did much of the damage to the Bulls innings, dismissing Pete Forrest (11 off 54 balls) and Nathan Reardon (6) in the first half-hour this morning to put the Bulls on the back foot from the outset.
He also knocked over the last bastion of resistance when he bowled Hopes for 61 with a sharp lifting delivery shortly after the tea break.
Coulter-Nile finished with a career-best 6-84 to go with his 3-41 in the first innings.
Chris Hartley chipped in mid-innings with a handy 38 off 57 balls, including five boundaries and two sixes, before becoming the middle of spinner Ashton Agar's three victims.
WA 111 (Voges 38; Gannon 4-49, Hopes 3-21, Gale 2-22)
Qld 168 (Moller 44, Hopes 43; Hogan 4-43, Coulter-Nile 3-41)
WA 496 (Rogers 89, Marsh 84, Voges 72, Agar 53; Gale 4-109, Hopes 3-60)
Qld 340 (Moller 120, Hopes 61; Coulter-Nile 6-84, Agar 3-91)
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